People all throughout the world use their bodies in a variety of interesting and health-promoting ways. Examples include gardening in Okinawa, mace swinging in India, stone lifting in Iceland, sport climbing in Sardinia, martial arts in Brazil, and salsa dancing in Cuba. 

Every journey—whether to far-off places or across international borders thanks to a recipe or book—offers the chance to push yourself beyond your comfort zone, unearth passions and talents, and develop empathy and self-awareness for both the world and yourself.

There are a plethora of cultural aspects to observe while travelling, including the local dialect, cuisine, artwork, music, literature, architecture, government, and even viewpoints on timing. We cordially welcome you to join us as we examine a frequently disregarded aspect of culture: human movement.

These concepts hardly scrape the surface of human sports and pastimes. Some of them might even be a part of your present exercise routine. Some may be completely unfamiliar to you. Someone play bossaball?

If nothing else, we hope these concepts expand your understanding of what makes up physical activity and the potential of your body, no matter where you are.

The world’s most active individuals have one thing in common: they rarely exercise only for the sake of aerobic fitness or weight loss. Their daily routine includes regular movement and they prioritize aerobic fitness as a default. Many cultures exist for whom vigorous aerobic activity serves as a means of transportation, a job, and a source of happiness.


Fitness Across the Globe

Consider Uganda. The nation of East Africa is well-known to most tourists throughout the world for its natural beauty and animal reserves. However, proponents of healthy living believe that the nation is doing a lot of things well: This 49 million-person landlocked nation is home to the world’s most physically active population, according to a recently released report. In Uganda, the percentage of people classed as inactive is 5.5 percent, compared to an astounding 40 percent of Americans, according to a recent health and human services report.

These figures have significant ramifications. According to World Health Organization predictions, diseases like cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes will rise by 26% in high-income countries like the United States in the 2020s. The projected percentage in Uganda, among the emerging nations, is as low as 5%.

Uganda is a mecca for elite long-distance runners, and its citizens are passionate about sports like football, cricket, and boxing. However, this doesn’t fully account for why this country leads other countries in terms of physical fitness.

A plausible explanation could be that in Uganda, gyms are practically redundant. In Uganda, people are deeply connected to movement in their daily life: they predominantly use walking as a means of transportation rather than cars, and eighty percent of the workforce is involved in agriculture.

NEAT, or nonexercised activity thermogenesis, is the term used by exercise experts to describe this type of everyday, unintentional movement which can range from chopping wood to fidgeting at your computer. NEAT, although not in a gym, can still bring similar benefits as exercise.

The predominance of NEAT may explain the strikingly low incidence of avoidable, noncommunicable diseases in Uganda and other emerging nations in these countries.

Evidence suggests remaining active all day is vital for your health, not just relying on exercise.

There are other places outside Uganda where this phenomenon is clear. Everyday mobility is also essential to living in the Blue Zones, which are regions where people typically live extraordinarily long, active lives. For instance, people spend hours each day gardening, fishing, walking, cooking, and doing low-intensity indoor and outdoor tasks in Sardinia, Italy, and Okinawa, Japan.

Research has shown that none of the Blue Zone residents exercise, at least not the way we think of exercise. However, researchers discovered that the centenarians in the study exhibited distinct movement. Specifically, Okinawan women 100 years old engage in getting up and down from the ground 30 or 40 times a day, and they also prefer sitting on the floor to maintain their mobility. Sardinians go up and down steps in their vertical homes. Every visit to the grocery store, church, or friend’s residence calls for a stroll.

While some of us may not fish on a remote island or farm on a verdant African plain, we can all take steps to add more NEAT into our lives.

Salsa Fitness Luxeit Blog

Follow The Rhythm 

Dance is a well recognized cultural custom that originated on every continent but Antarctica. Particularly folk and classical dances convey the narratives of a people while fostering a sense of belonging and community.

Dancing is a mental and physical workout as well. It can strengthen bones and major muscle groups, as well as improve lung and heart health and balance, agility, and coordination.

It causes your body to release feel-good hormones like serotonin as you move your own body weight to the beat. Research shows that dance has links to benefits in social, cognitive, and antiaging domains.

Dancing can be more than just an exercise regimen; it can also help you make connections with your ancestry. Ireland is home to step dancing, one of the many dances practiced globally. Cuban salsa. Argentina is the home of tango. Samba de Portugal. Egypt’s Raqs Sharqi. Zeybek in the Turkish context. Bhangra in India and Pakistan. Hopak is in Ukraine. Greece’s Hasapiko. Dabke in Lebanon, Palestine, Jordan, Syria, and Iraq. Korea’s Buchaechum. Chinese dances of the dragon and lion. Cambodian Apsara. Within Kurdistan, Halparke.

You can learn without travelling overseas if you want to, even though you can enroll in dance courses or visit a local dance club while on the road. Irish step, salsa, belly dance, and bhangra are just a few of the popular dance styles in the US; you can find dance studios dedicated to these culturally based forms in many American cities. Finding virtual professors is now simpler than ever owing to Zoom, TikTok, and YouTube.

Tai Chi Luxeit Blog

Unleash Your Inner Warrior

Many martial arts styles exist across the globe. Although the forms and intensities of the physical exercises may vary, most martial arts place a strong emphasis on mental and physical discipline.

One such is tai chi, a martial arts technique that was first created in China hundreds of years ago and uses internal energy. It places a strong emphasis on posture alignment, deep breathing, slow, purposeful movements, and the fusion of the mind and body.

Tai chi, also referred to as “meditation in motion,” has several advantages for the mind, body, and spirit. These include stronger joints, lower blood pressure, better balance, less stress, and potentially even a stronger immune system and happier moods. People with fitness difficulties, including older adults and those with neurological or orthopedic disorders, find it particularly appealing because of its fluid, simple movements. They can perform it as a moderate aerobic activity.

Tai chi, also referred to as “meditation in motion,” has several advantages for the mind, body, and spirit, including improved blood pressure, stronger joints, improved balance, and decreased stress.

Forms, or sets of movements, are what make up tai chi and demand mental and physical focus. Practitioners conduct coordination exercises with timing, breathing, and positioning of the hands, feet, and limbs.

Tai chi is physically and mentally stimulating, yet the exercises also induce a noticeable, nearly instantaneous, meditative quiet. The practice merges internal and external, breath, spirit, body, and mind. There are health benefits linked to this singularity of purpose. 

Exercising alone is valuable, but practicing with others has more advantages. Since humans are social creatures, sharing energy is a fundamental component of tai chi.

capoeira Fitness Luxeit Blog

There are more dynamic martial arts styles. Consider capoeira, an Afro-Brazilian martial art that blends the strength and agility of martial arts, the grace and expressiveness of dance, and the discipline, focus, and high-intensity interval training of calisthenics.

Africans, who were slaves held by Portuguese sugar traffickers in Brazil, developed capoeira in the sixteenth century to enhance physical fitness, fortify spiritual beliefs, strengthen social ties, and hone combat skills. In contemporary studios, where lessons have the vibe of a breakdancing session paired to the twanging sounds of the berimbau, its tribal roots are still very much present.

Two at a time, capoeristas engage in a unique “fighting” that begins with a low crouch and progresses to kicks, inversions, all-fours scuttling, and, at advanced levels, handstands, flips, and handsprings. A ring of mentors and other students who sing, hoot, and play musical instruments surrounds them.

In classes, there is a do-what-you-can feel, where expert students work on mind-blowing jumps, twists, and spins, and beginners focus on basic strikes, kicks, and ground moves. It’s a martial art, right? A custom? A dance? It’s a mixture of all those things.

The physical benefits of capoeira are clear: you gain strength, power, flexibility, agility, explosiveness, and cardiovascular fitness because you are constantly moving. You also lose nothing by doing this activity.

You simultaneously gain multiple human development skills and learn how to play an instrument. It’s an all-in-one analogue solution for a digital world.

Gada Fitness Luxeit Blog

Look to the Ancients

You may think the Russians introduced the concept of swinging themselves into fitness with the invention of kettlebells, but the Indian mace, or gada, and Indian club are even older tools designed for the same purpose.

The gada is a traditional weapon that Hindu warriors (and, lore has it, Hindu gods) wielded over 2,000 years ago. The gada served as a weapon and as a resistance training aid both within and outside of combat zones. In contrast, the club has a tapered shape like a bowling pin.

Various regions of the world produced comparable instruments. Persian meels, or clubs, are still a common training aid among Iranian men and women in the diaspora and in Iran’s varzesh-e bastani athletic tradition.

In northern India, Pehlwani wrestlers still frequently use the Indian mace and club as training tools. These tools are currently experiencing a global resurgence in full-body, functional fitness training circles. Both at home and in a gym, people can choose steel clubs and maces of different weights for pullovers and swings.

Although they are not interchangeable, the mace and club can increase rotational force, stabilize the shoulders and core, and improve balance training and coordination. For prehab and rehab, lighter, smaller steel clubs are an excellent option. It’s typical to begin a swing based workout routine with two clubs at once, moving them alternately or in tandem.

Maces are beneficial for multi-planar movements and conditioning exercises since they are longer, frequently heavier, and have an unnatural, offset weight distribution. Start with modest weights and look for a fitness professional who can give you pointers, either in person or virtually.

Weight Lifting Luxeit Blog

Train Like A Greek God

Many strength training exercises have their roots in strongman competitions that were common in ancient Greece. during the ancient Greek Olympic Games, participants competed in strength tests like disc throwing and even rock lifting. Log-lifting tournaments also exist in Scandinavia and other parts of the world.

In Europe, the Strongman sport as we know it now got its start in the nineteenth century. Athletes competed in physical endurance tests, such as pulling carriages or carrying large objects, in the early strength exhibitions that were held in theatres and circuses. One of the first recorded events involving Strongman was in 1891, when he competed in weightlifting in front of an excited audience.

The history of Strongman sports changed significantly in the 20th century. It began as a demonstration of strength and developed into a competitive sport with clear regulations. In the 1970s, the establishment of the International Force Sports Federation (IFSA) allowed for the global oversight of Strongman tournaments. Modern Strongman competitions challenge athletes’ strength, endurance, and power through tasks like lifting boulders, dragging vehicles, and throwing large objects.

The sport of Strongman has grown in popularity worldwide in recent years. Athletes from several disciplines, such as weightlifting and powerlifting, compete in strongman tournaments to test their strength in a unique setting. Millions of people worldwide watch television programs that have transformed strongman tournaments into widely recognized events, contributing to the dissemination and progression of this discipline.


The World is Your Gym

From the vibrant rhythms of dance to the disciplined movements of martial arts, and from the ancient tools of strength training to the communal challenges of Strongman competitions, each tradition offers unique insights into the human potential for physical expression and well-being that can add a touch of cultural variety to your fitness routine.

Fitness isn’t just about hitting the gym or trying to lose weight; it’s about embracing movement as an integral part of daily life, offering not only physical benefits but also opportunities for personal growth and social connection.

Even as we draw inspiration from ancient practices like Indian mace swinging and Greek Strongman competitions, we recognize that fitness is a dynamic journey, growing across time and culture. And in this journey, Luxeit Sportswear invites you to elevate your experience. With premium athletic wear designed for both performance and style, you can look good while embracing the richness of these global fitness traditions.

So, whether you’re stepping onto the dance floor, mastering the art of tai chi, or embracing the challenge of Strongman training, remember that the world is your gym, and each tradition offers its own invitation to thrive. Join us in celebrating the diversity of movement and the boundless potential of the human body. Embrace the journey, and let Luxeit Sportswear accompany you on your path to fitness and well-being.

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